“Two Hip Judges and One Cranky Pants” Dance Week 7

 

Now that we are down to six couples each are required to perform two individual dances; a Latin and a ballroom.  The pressure is mounting and I’m sure someone is going to crumble.  Some of the celebs have struggled with one dance, how are they going to handle in the same short amount of time? I guess we will just have to watch and see.

 

Marissa Jaret Winokur and Tony Dovolani

Dance 1 The tango was smooth and upbeat. Marissa had very good posture and was clean in all of her movements. The judges said that it was her best dance ever and showed a completely new side of her. Score 27/30

Dance 2– The rumba is one of the sexier Latin dances and Marissa seemed to struggle with the idea. She had little to know hip movement in the dance and they didn’t move much across the floor.  The footwork was stronger than usual and she did move gracefully. The judges thought that the dance was romantic but not sexy enough. Score 25/30

 

Cristian de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke

Dance 1– The Viennese waltz was not one of Cristian’s best.  It seemed choppy and he looked like he was counting. He seemed to slip back into leading with his heels. The judges said that he used the floor brilliantly but lacked energy and content. Score 25/30

Dance 2– A little bootie shaking in the samba has never hurt anyone. Cristian seemed a lot more comfortable in this dance than he did in the first but he pulled a muscle near the end of the dance and almost fell on top of Cheryl.  He looked like he was in some serious pain as the show hesitated before going to commercial. The judges said that he was brave to try to carry on with the injury and that he is a great performer.  Score 21/30

 

Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Balias

Dance 1– The Viennese waltz started off beautifully with Kristi holding an umbrella and Mark in uniform.  The dance has some nice holds and good movement around the floor. The judges thought that the dance was emotional and creative but the start was too long Score 26/30

Dance 2– The only couple performing the cha cha (cha) tonight, Kristi and Mark have an opportunity to impress.  The dance was full of quick turns and fast footwork. Kristi was back to last week’s form with her second dance.  Len didn’t like the “boogaloo hip hop dancing” but Bruno and Carrie Ann loved the change from the ordinary. Score 28/30  

 

Mario and Karina Smirnoff

Dance 1– The foxtrot was a good comeback dance for Mario.  The couple seemed to have fun with the dance and out in a lot of work.  The judges said that he did a good job but was not graceful or controlled.  Score 24/30

Dance 2– The Mambo was a much better try for Mario than the foxtrot. He had good hip action and no trouble with the quick footwork. The couple had chemistry and lit up the floor. The judges thought it was fiery, wild, and full of passion. Score 27/30

 

Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough

Dance 1– The tango brought some friction between the cozy couple when Derek decided to be a disciplinarian after last week’s harsh reviews. The couple did a quick and entertaining tango. There were some positioning issues but nothing too big. The judges thought that the dance was fascinating and it was her best dance yet. Score 27/30

Dance 2– The mambo involves a lot of hip movement; something that Shannon has yet to pull off. She tried to shake it but I think that she physically has no hips, making it impossible.  The dance was akward and she looked uncomfortable the whole time.  The choreography had the potential to be interesting but it never quite happened.  The judges thought that her lines were off and it was a bit gangly. Score 24/30

 

 

Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska

Dance 1– The quickstep was one of the more entertaining dances of the night.  Jason listened to Carrie Ann and he certainly danced “big” this week.  He had much more emotion this week and finished the dance with a handstand. The judges thought that it was great, energetic, and predicted that he will be in the final. Score 29/30

Dance 2– The paso doble becomes quirky with tonight’s song choice and costuming. The Monday night football song was an odd choice and the Miami Dolphin clothing was just funny. The dance was fun too watch and Jason was quite an intimidating figure. The judges thought that it was a bit too posey but was an unconventional winner. Score 26/30

 

Tonight was a very exciting night in the competition.  Everyone reallt stepped up and danced well, it will be hard to let one of the couples go tomorrow.  Tomorrow’s results are hard to predict on dance alone.  I think that, with a doubt, Kristi and Jason are safe.  The other four are all at risk even though they all did well.  I think that Marissa and Mario don’t have strong fan bases, Cristian didn’t get to really show what he’s made of, and Shannon may get some backlash from last week’s comments.  All are free game for tomorrow’s the bottom two even without the injury but who knows what the fans will decide.  Tune in tomorrow for the results.

 

Score Totals

Jason & Edyta – 55/60

Kristi & Mark –54/60

Marissa & Tony – 52/60

Mario & Karina – 51/60

Shannon & Derek – 51/60

Cristian & Cheryl – 46/60

 

April 28, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . dance, dancing with the stars, reality tv. Leave a comment.

American Idol Results: 6 Become 5

 

The contestants begin the show singing a painful rendition of All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera.  Some of the boys were off key and the girls sounded strained and squeaky. Andrew Lloyd Webber takes the stage with Ryan to talk with the judges about the differences between singing in the theater and pop singing.  He also pointed out Jason’s odd song choice once again. Time for the first of the eliminations and a word from the president and first lady, the first to the stage is or I should say are the Davids: Cook and Archuleta.  Both Davids are safe, of course, and head to the safety couch.

 

Idol has been taking time to catch up with Idol alumni.  Tamyra Gray is currently starring in Rent on Broadway.  Clay Aiken is starring in Spamalot. Simon and Clive Davis worked together to produce tonight’s performer Leona Lewis.  Her song has been blowing up on the radio lately and I can see why, it’s so catchy. Time for more eliminations and Syesha and Brook take the stage and I don’t know how, maybe pity. Brook is safe tonight and Syesha is in the bottom two. Carly and Jason take the stage to find out their results.  Jason is safe and Carly is in the bottom two. The bottom two definitely shows that this is NOT just a singing competition, it is a popularity contest.  Girls love Jason so he is safe and probably shouldn’t be. Brook got a huge pity vote and I think Carly is just too tattoed and real for the American Idol audience.  I’m not sure what the heck Syesha did wrong though… There is always one surprise week.

 

Both bottom two contestants are asked to perform their songs again before the results are revealed. In the end Carly has to go home and Syesha is barely safe to sing at least one more week. 

April 23, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . American Idol, reality tv, singing. Leave a comment.

Lauren Sent Home from Rome

 

The contest is down to six girls and after Stacy Ann’s exit last week, the girls better shape up because no one is safe in these last few weeks. The top six arrive in Italy and Anya face planted while stepping off of the bus.  What a great way to start the trip.  The girls move into their new pad in Rome and it has its own pool and garden.  Fatima is sick and the other girls, except Anya who is nice and helpful, down her and say she doesn’t have what it takes. The girls tour Rome on Segways, there was a lot of falling, and get familiar with Italian fashion before their challenge.  They have to meet Guy Mattiolo and impress him with their style and walk.  The winner is Anya but the excitement is short lived because the girls have to film a Covergirl commercial in Italian. Anya was a train wreck, apparently walking and talking at the same time is too much for her.  Dominique and Italian did NOT mix; the director said that it sounded like Chinese.  Lauren froze and looked like a deer in headlights that recently had its leg’s broken.  Katarzyna was good but boring, at least she didn’t ruin an entire language.  Fatima did well and the director called her a goddess.  Whitney was forced and over the top.

 

Eliminations are going to be long and painful; there will be a lot of negatives for the panel to point out. The judges were very under whelmed by all the takes and said that if Fatima’s was the best then they were in for an interesting night.  They were all laughing at the bad Italian and the overly hoochiness that most of the girls portrayed. After seeing Lauren’s take Ms. J said nothing and wrote “hell to the no.” it was pretty bad. They thought that Katarzyna was the most natural.

 

Time for eliminations, the first girl given life for next week is Fatima quickly followed by Katarzyna and Anya.  Dominique didn’t impress the judges but did enough to get by.  Whitney and Lauren are the bottom two.  The judges think that Whitney is too phony and Lauren can’t hide her personality and can not act.  In the end Lauren is sent home even though she has taken really great pictures all season long.  So long…

April 23, 2008. Tags: , , , , . American Idol, reality tv, singing. Leave a comment.

Elimination 5: No more Marlee

 

The judges chose to start the show off by seeing a second performance of last nights confusing and chaotic group dance; it was no better the second time around.  Ashlee Simpson, sporting a tackily large engagement ring, is today’s special guest and sings (at least she didn’t fake it this time) as pros perform in very Timberlake-like outfits; kinda boring really. Time first results; the first safe couple of the night is Shannon & Derek and the first couple in the bottom two is Marlee & Fabian. Well at least Shannon can stop crying, the pity vote always wins big, right Marie?

Oh how the world needs more river dance, it is always cool to watch.  I don’t understand how their upper bodies never move while their feet are going at 100+ miles per hour; that is truly one of life’s great mysteries… sort of. The kids that are competing this week are thirteen and have therefore outgrown their cuteness, so I am not really that interested but they were both really good and the judges had a hard choice to make but I think they made the right one when the chose Brandon and Brittany. 

Time to get down to business; the next safe couples are Marissa & Tony and Cristian & Cheryl.  The final three couple learn their fates one at a time.  Kristi & Mark are safe and so are Jason & Edyta.  The bottom two couple are Mario & Karina Marlee & Fabian.  After a build up it is announced that Marlee and Fabian are going home.  She did a phenomenal job and really worked through all of her challenges with grace and class.  She will be missed.

April 22, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . dance, dancing with the stars, reality tv. Leave a comment.

American Idol: 6 Finalists Take on Andrew Lloyd Webber

 

This week the idols are going to take on songs written by the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber who is known for his award winning musical compositions.  So why are pop idols even going to attempt not only musical theater, but some of the most difficult musical theater creations to sing. Perhaps you have heard of Evita, Sunset Boulevard, Cats, Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat, and The Phantom of the Opera.  This should be interesting; the top six will be pushed to their limits tonight.

                                               

Syesha Mercado

Song: One Rock and Roll Too Many –from Starlight Express

Overview: The song was a great choice for her because it has a jazzy edge.  She did a have few small pitch problems but she played to the crowd and brought the personality. She had a big finish and that should help her in the memories of the viewers.

Judges:

R– Best performance to date so far

P– Brought the house down

S– Very sexy, showed masses of personality

 

Jason Castro

Song: Memory – from Cats

Overview: Crazy song choice here; Jason has a lot to work against being that the song is sung by an old dying cat. I think that it was a good thing that he had never seen the musical before because he didn’t have any preconceived ideas about what the song was.  The performance was breathy and uniquely Jason.  It was not great but it was okay.

Judges:

        R– Vocal train wreck, too big of a song 

P– Good choice and you put your influence on it

S– Like you were a young guy singing at a wedding that his parents forced him to sing

 

Brook White

Song: You Must Love Me – from Evita

Overview: This is a big song and has been performed by some big artists in the past so Brook has some large shoes to fill.  She messed it all up when she stopped during the second line of the song and restarted.  She sang the song on pitch and had the feeling behind the song but she didn’t sustain any of the big notes; something that is a must in musical theater. She did a decent enough job but restarting is really going to hurt her; she said that she “lost the lyric”. 

Judges:

        R– Wasn’t great but you did believe what you were singing

        P– You must never start and stop, pick up the pieces 

        S– Restarting caused vocal tension and was uncomfortable

 

David Archuleta

Song: Think of Me – The Phantom of the Opera

Overview: I was so convinced that David was going to sing Any Dream Will Do, but thank goodness I was wrong. He chose to completely change a song that is usually sung by a very female, very soprano women.  But I think he made a great choice.  He made me an Archie believer this week.  I love this song and I love Phantom and I still enjoyed his performance.  He delivered all the pop vocal strength, well placed runs, and sincerity that he always does.

Judges:

        R– Dude it was the bomb, the one to beat

        P– Absolutely perfect on a risk

        S– Pleasant, one of your weaker performances

 

Carly Smithson

Song: Jesus Christ Super Star – from Jesus Christ Super Star

Overview: A big song for a big voice, the only issue with this one is that Carly has to truly let it all hang out.  I’m not sure the key of the song was in the best range for her but the song defiantly fit her.  She rocked it and really went for it. 

Judges:

        R– Definitely Good

        P– So unexpected, loved the chorus

        S– One of my favorite performances of the night

 

David Cook

Song: Music of the Night – The Phantom of the Opera

Overview: This is my favorite song from Phantom so the idea of David Cook singing was exciting to me. I was so not expecting him to say that he grew up singing musical theater; he seems so far removed from that style now.  He had a few issues with the lower pitches but when the song moved up in pitch he performance took flight.  He connects so well with the audience and the camera.  He is the only one who sang a Webber song true to how it would be performed on stage (at least up until his big ending). Not switching it up was the difference; that was the risk, and again I can’t say it enough: He is a star.

Judges:

        R– Molten hot lava hot

        P– So well rounded and have a beautiful instrument

S– Made the most of the song, prefer the grittier side

 

 

So I guess I am just a pessimist by nature; I was expecting the worst on “Webber Night” but I really didn’t have all that much to worry about.  There were weak spots, pitch problems, and forgotten lyrics, but there were some good moments as well. Tomorrow’s bottom two is most certainly going to be comprised of one Ms. Brook White and one Mr. Jason Castro.  If they have a third bottom player in the mix expect Syesha to join them.  The only certainty after this week is that the Davids are very much safe and will battle to the end. It’s starting to get serious! Tune in tomorrow for the results. 

April 22, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . American Idol, reality tv, singing. Leave a comment.

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